ROTARIANS from two of the town's clubs got together to mark World Polio Day.

Members of the Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town had planned to celebrate the occasion on Saturday but coronavirus restrictions saw meant this had to be postponed. 

All was not lost though – with the help of the Rotary Club of Swindon a photoshoot in Town Gardens was arranged.

Through its End Polio Now campaign Rotary International has been instrumental in helping to almost eradicate the disease.

It was once prevalent throughout the world, causing paralysis and death. Through a programme of vaccination, often carried out under dangerous conditions, the disease is now almost wiped out. 

“It’s been an incredible achievement,” said Ray Norman, president of the Old Town club. "With the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the funding raised by Rotary members all over the world has paid for a long-lasting campaign to the effect that polio now only exists in two small pockets in the world.”

Rotary Club of Swindon president Debbie Vincent said her fellow members were also happy to be spreading the word on End Polio Now. 

Swindon Rotary Club also donated crocuses to the Residents’ Association and South Swindon Parish Council, to be planted on the old Railway Embankment on Marlborough Road.

The remaining crocuses will be planted in Christchurch walled gardens.
Ray and Debbie were joined by Melodie Beevers and Steph Trinci of Old Town RC and Jan Blankenstein of Swindon for the photoshoot. 

They have arranged to have some special purple crocus bulbs planted in Town Gardens to commemorate the event.

“Hopefully when they come up in the spring, they may also mark the beginning of the end of the coronavirus as well,” said Ray.